Nong Chat, or Chatchai Peangapichart, is one of Thailand’s top professional makeup artists. Passionate about makeup and hair styling from childhood, Nong Chat can credit his success to a blend of social media presence, determination, talent, and life-changing breaks.
Nong Chat (Chatchai Peangapichart) is among the top five professional makeup artists in Thailand. Also known for his hairstyling talents, Nong Chat’s client list includes some of the top celebrities and superstars in Thailand such as Aum Patchrapa Chaichua, May Pitchanart Sakhakon and Ning Panita Tumwattana to name a few.
But his ladder to success has not always been an easy climb. An only child born into a Thai-Chinese family, he struggled with his sexuality even in his early years. He got a lot of support though from his mother, both emotional and in his quest to become a makeup artist and hairstylist, skills that he had a passion for well before his teenage years. In return, his mother simply asked that of her son that he be a good person. Her request is still at the forefront of Nong Chat’s mind today.
Nong Chat started to apply for jobs at hairdressing salons in his childhood. His applications were met with one rejection after another and each with the same answer, “you’re too young”. His mother responded by offering her dressing table which was moved to the ground floor of their house and buying her son a chair for washing hair and their family home was transformed into a hair salon each weekend and during the school holidays.
Nong Chat charged just 10 Baht (approximately 3 cents or US$0.3) for a shampoo and blowdry but his sights were set on becoming a makeup artist not hairdresser. He saved his money and enrolled in various vocational courses before eventually studying sales at Ratapak Suan Dusit University.
All students on this course were required to get real life experience with a company before they could graduate. Nong Chat knew exactly what he wanted to do, which was to get work experience with a leading cosmetics brand and to learn more about cosmetics, makeup and serving customers.
Once again Nong Chat created a shortlist of brands he wanted to get experience with and contacted them all and all of them replied that they didn’t have an intern program. There was one last name on the list and they said “yes”. And that was the foundation of his career as a professional makeup artist.
Since then he has worked alongside many leading international brands and worked hard to develop his network of professional makeup artists. He would say to them that he was available to help when they had a heavy workload and that got his foot in the door with regular freelance work.
Facebook was the top social media channel in Thailand as he was growing up but Instagram was growing and so was Nong Chat’s profile on it. Although work was coming in, he still had no reputation among clients and consumers, but that was about to change.
He sent an instagram message to Thai model, singer and actress Ying Rhatha saying that he was keen to have the opportunity to do her hair and makeup. After a while, Ying got in touch to invite him to do her hair and makeup at the Cannes Film Festival and that was the break which transformed both Nong Chat and his career.
Today Nong Chat is among the top 5 professional makeup artists in Thailand and boasts a lengthy waiting list for those wanting to have a makeover by him. His ladder to success didn’t involve luck but focus from a very early age, determination and hard work. His is a journey that began as a 10 Baht hairdresser before propelling forward to become top of his art and a household name.
And Nong Chat still keeps the words spoken to him by his mother very close to heart; always do your best, be a good person and set a good example for others to follow.